For many travelers, staying at a typical ryokan is a way to step into the past for a sense of comfort away from the modern world. This experience can, at times, come at quite a premium and, for travelers on a budget, can be out of reach. This is where Andon Ryokan shines as a modern designer ryokan that’s affordable for all travelers longing for a sense of home.
Located a little further out of the hustle and bustle of central Tokyo, Andon Ryokan resides in Taito City. A station away from the historic Asakusa district, the residential area of Minowa allows visitors the chance to explore a local Tokyo neighborhood.
“When you get off at Minowa Station, you will feel like you are back at your parents’ house,” says owner Toshiko Ishii. “Rather than being a large tourist destination, this area is the kind of place where the more you go, the more you find new things and connect with the people, culture and history rooted in the local area. You can feel the warmth.”
Designed by architect Masyuki Irie, the beautiful glass-front building won the 2005 Architectural Design Commendation from the Architectural Institute of Japan and it’s easy to see why, as it completely garners attention from all passersby.
After stepping inside the inn, it doesn’t take long to see why for many Andon Ryokan is considered their “home in Tokyo.”
“In the accommodation industry there are a lot of cheap and convenient places; competition is fierce,” says Ishii. “Many overseas guests were asking where they can find traditional Japanese family meals. Unfortunately, places like that have become more and more rare. So I decided to do it all myself.”
According to Ishii, there is more to it than just providing warm meals to guests.
“When Andon Ryokan first opened, I thought to myself: ‘how can I appeal to foreigners the goodness of Japan?’” Ishii adds. “I realized then that the fastest way would be through hospitality, letting them understand the true Japan and Japanese people.”
With antique furniture, a traditional tea room and a hot tub accompanied by beautiful tile artwork, it’s clear to see Ishii’s intention of blending traditional and modern design to create a ryokan like no other.
Stamp Rally Project
Andon Ryokan is currently one of six ryokan in Tokyo taking part in the Stamp Rally Project. Hotel guests can inquire at the front desk for an original stamp tenugui (Japanese hand towel) and can then collect stamps from each ryokan taking part. Once you’ve called all six, you’ll receive an exclusive gift.*
2-34-10 Nihonzutsumi, Taito-ku, Tokyo
*Gifts vary by hotel and season, and may not always be available. Please check with the hotel staff during your stay.